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“We share the concern and have devoted considerable time and effort to educating our employees regarding how race and ethnicity can — and cannot — be used,” FBI counsel Valerie Caproni told Congress in December 2008.

But problems with the training and testing programs surfaced quickly. Last year, Assistant Director Joseph Persichini, the head of the FBI’s Washington field office that investigates congressional wrongdoing and other crime in the nation’s capital, retired amid a review of test-taking in his office.

Persichini took the test alongside two of his most senior managers and one of the bureau attorneys in charge of making sure the exam was administered properly, current and former officials said. The two agents who took the test with him have been moved to headquarters while the investigation continues.

At the time, the inquiry appeared limited to the Washington field office. But investigators have broadened their inquiry to cover the entire FBI. Among other things, they are focusing on agents who took the test particularly quickly, officials said.

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Online: Letter to the DOJ inspector general: http://wid.ap.org/documents/fbiaa_letter.pdf